1Q84 by Haruki Murakami – Review

1Q84 is a novel by the famous Japanese author Haruki Murakami published between 2009 and 2010, divided into three volumes. Here is the review.

1Q84 is a famous tribute to the novel by George Orwell 1984, from which it also draws a minimal inspiration. The novel tells the story of Aomame, a young instructor who sometimes has to use her skills as a murderer, and Tengo, a math teacher and aspiring writer who will soon find his dream come true, even if not exactly as he would have liked.

Both come into contact with the Sakigake, a veritable religious sect that seems to keep secrets too big and strange. All this will create a bond between them that may already exist, but at the same time will also put them in danger.

First of all I want to talk about the writing of Murakami, which I liked very much. 1Q84 dedicates alternates a chapter of Tengo and a chapter of Aomame, while in the third book a new character is added, Ushigawa, a shady type who is on their tracks.

Give space to each character is something I really appreciated, as well as the power of Murakami’s words. Although the novel is full of descriptions, analogies and metaphors, Murakami doesn’t slow down the narrative. The first two books are really very hectic, with the end of the second you enter in a real world of suspense. Instead, the third one slows down a lot in the first part, where little happens, maybe nothing, because we see Ushigawa retracing what we already know. But in my opinion it was necessary to calm the waters after all that happened in the previous two volumes.

In the second part a fairly tight rhythm is regained, which gradually becomes faster, slowing down only on the last pages, so as to give us a sign of harmony and serenity. This is because, in my opinion, while remaining a literary work, a little dystopian, a bit fantasy, 1Q84 has, sometimes, a structure of a crime novel. The Sakigake is a very dark sect and the secrets that the main characters discover do not seem to make much sense. There is a puzzle that needs to be solved, but we are given the pieces slowly, and we do not manage to get through them. The mystery is really very present in this book.

And then, of course, the style of Murakami is also excellent. I did not notice any slips, on the contrary, a fairly high style was kept for the whole time of the novel without a blister.

The themes are particularly beautiful, and the main ones in this novel are three: time, religion and love. Murakami seems to be very critical of religious fanatics, and of narrow cults, but in some places it also gives a favorable connotation also taking up many positive religious symbols, like the family.

In 1Q84 we are given the idea of ​​a very malignant world, to which, however, Murakami presents an alternative: love, the real one. And this is what unites the two characters. Nobody loved them and in turn they never loved anyone, they are alone, but will they be able to feel this feeling and immerse themselves in it, thus escaping from the darkness of the world?

And then, to these, is added the theme of time, which Murakami destroys, because it does not see it linear, but circular, because the past can reappear, and perhaps even more, that is a kind of reincarnation.

What I did not like was the ending. For me there are still some pieces of the puzzle missing, or maybe I lost them on the street myself, which is very likely.

So, yes, absolutely read 1Q84, it will not disappoint you. It is a very strong, very beautiful and also fast reading for the tight rhythm of the first two books. Read it.

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Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2Pkkrue

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2qGF9pj

Rating: 85/100

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